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Editorial: Liquor madness

Dec 31, 2001  •  Post A Comment

We’re MADD about some of the congressional response to NBC’s decision to air hard-liquor ads.
Congressman Frank Wolf, R-Va., for one, in a Dec. 20 letter to top NBC executives chastising their decision, wrote, “It is a sad commentary that your bottom line today is more important to your company than the lives of young people tempted to drink or recovering alcoholics trying to beat their disease.”
The only sad commentary here is Rep. Wolf’s, which sounds like drunken rhetoric to us. Beer and wine ads on TV are a long-established tradition. Are beer and wine less a temptation to young people or recovering alcoholics?
As we have said before in this space, hard liquor is a legal product. If beer ads are welcome on TV, so should be hard-liquor commercials, without any stigma.
As MADD-Mothers Against Drunk Driving-said in its statement on NBC’s decision, “Alcohol is alcohol, and, for example, many youth and drunk drivers drink beer.”
If Congress wants to debate whether liquor advertising on TV is appropriate at all, that’s a legitimate and appropriate discussion. And if some liquor advertising, be it beer or wine or hard liquor, is inappropriately targeting youth, that too is worthy of investigation.
What needs to stop immediately is members of Congress distorting the issue and crying wolf.